ABC News, was such a small operation in the early 1960s. Sorta like the baby sister or baby brother of NBC and CBS News. They didn’t become a major operation at least until the late 1960s or early 70s, when Howard Smith took over as the anchor of the ABC Evening News. And probably not even a major competitor as far as first being in news when it came to the TV networks until the late 70s and early 80s. When Nightline with Ted Koppel came on the air and covered the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
ABC News, won a lot of rewards for their depth coverage of the Iranian Hostage Crisis. It made Ted Koppel a star and household name and if you look at this coverage of the JFK assassination, you don’t see a clear anchor of this coverage. It looks more like a news update or something. When CBS News went on the air, with this story, Walter Cronkite when their number one anchor, broke in right away to report this story. And the same thing with NBC News with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, they went their main people their stars. You don’t see that with ABC News.
With what ABC News had to work with back then and again being in third place out of the three networks and being so far back it looked like fifth place, I think they actually did pretty well. And were on top of the story. They were the so-called CW or My-TV, whatever that is, or even FOX. Being so small that they didn’t even have a news division, or weren’t interested in news at all. FOX, of course now has a news obviously. ABC, was a national TV network back then, but didn’t have the affiliates and ratings that CBS and NBC did.